Crowdfunding the farmAugust 22, 2012: 11:34 AM ET
FORTUNE -- A new crowd-funding site launched today, but it has nothing to do with tech or consumer goods start-ups. Instead, it's focused on the American farmer.
The site is called Fquare, and is designed to buy land from farmers and then lease it back to them at an interest rate of between 4% and 6%. Very similar to existing sale-leaseback structures for farmland, except that the capital would be pooled from thousands of individual investors.
Once the lease is over, the land is either released to the existing farmer or to a new farmer. Meanwhile, Fquare users can trade various "shares" via the platform, with each share representing one square foot of land.
"It's basically trying to apply what we've seen from Kickstarter and CircleUp and SecondMarket, and bring it into a whole new area," says Fquare founder Charles Polanco. "Farmland has been a much safer investment than unknown tech startups."
I also asked Polanco about the name Fquare, which seems perilously close to a certain location check-in startup. He says it relates to the notion of each share representing one square foot of farmland, and that Squarefoot Inc. (his first choice) wasn't available. "We're in a very different market from Foursquare, so I don't see it as a problem," he adds.
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